1st July 2017
Senator Hon. Ian MacDonald (Queensland Senator), Mr. Milton Dick (MP), Mr. Steve Georganas (MP), Senator John Willams (Senator for NSW) and his wife Ms Nacy Vapel and Mr Gerry McLnally, High Official delegates from Australia visited the Ministry of Fisheries Aquaculture center in Sopy and Fafa SMA (Special Management Areas) on Saturday 1st of July 2017.
The parliamentary visit to Tonga was mainly to visit areas with export potentials especially on sectors where Australia funds. This visit is to strengthen and find ways in continue to strengthen and maintain the good relations between the Australia government and Tongan government.
Pearl farming which is priority program activity to Ministry of Fisheries and is ACIAR funded has also been seen one of the most highlighted opportunity. This sector was reserved for final visits which gave good packages of not only learning about the potential of pearl industry in Tonga but also about the increasing SMA and farming activity. This visit was also an opportunity for the delegates to visit Fafa Islands which is one of the recent SMA established in Tongatapu.
The Acting CEO for Fisheries Mrs. Mele 'Atuekaho and staffs of the Ministry were there to meet the delegates and provide information on the Pearl Farming and the SMA activities. The pearl farmers from Pangaimotu Islands display their pearl products as outcome of Project funded by the Australian Government to farm pearl and also to process the production of mabe pearl.